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Dutch Flat Volunteer Firefighters Honored

The Placer County Board of Supervisors yesterday honored three volunteer firefighters from Dutch Flat who have given a combined 111 years of volunteer service to their community. Firefighters Keith Petersen, Charlie Bridges and Robert "Bob" Joslin all received commendations from the Board for being a mainstay for their community.

The three men have provided the following:

* Capt. Charlie Bridges: 46 years of service;
* Firefighter Robert "Bob" Joslin: 41 years of service; and
* Keith Petersen: 25 years of service.

Dutch Flat is in the northeastern part of the county on the Dutch Flat Divide, which separates the Bear River from the North Fork of the American River. The community, founded in 1861, has never burned, unlike most of its surrounding communities. Because of that, there are many historic buildings dating back to the 1800s. These three volunteers have helped to preserve the Gold Rush-era heritage of their communities.

"These 'Three Amigos' as they are known, have really been the glue that kept the department together," said Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery, whose 5th District includes the Dutch Flat area, "Their commitment to community and department operations have kept it running smoothly."

Charlie Bridges, who started as a volunteer in 1967, has attained the rank of captain and has served in that position for 20 of his 45 years.

Robert Joslin, in addition to being a firefighter, is also a certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and has an Associate's Degree in Fire Science. He is self employed as a geotechnical engineer for more than 30 years.

Keith Petersen is also a certified EMT, in addition to being a firefighter. He works for the California Highway Patrol in their maintenance division and has used his automobile bodywork experience to restore and maintain fire apparatus. 

The Dutch Flat fire department annually responds to about 250 calls from the surrounding communities, including traffic incidents in nearby Interstate 80.

The community service typified by these three, long-time volunteers is precisely what the county is currently looking for as Placer County fire agencies continue to seek volunteers in fire service in communities throughout the unincorporated county. Volunteer duties can run the gamut from assisting with community events associated with fire stations to being a fully certified volunteer firefighter who responds to calls for service.

For information about volunteering in the fire service, please contact CAL FIRE/Placer County Fire, at 530-889-0111. The next firefighter academy is expected to be held in early 2013. However, before being enrolled in an academy, applicants must successfully complete the applicant process which can take up to several months. Those interested are encouraged to begin the process as soon as possible. The application process for lower levels of service are typically less complicated and time consuming, but all volunteers are encouraged to apply early.
In other actions, The Board approved a commendation for Rocklin City Councilman Peter Hill, for his service to his city, the county, and the region, congratulating him on his retirement. Hill has served on the Rocklin City Council for 29 years and has been mayor six times. In addition to his city responsibilities, Hill has served on the Placer County Air Pollution Control District, the Placer County Transportation Planning and as Chair of the Board of Directors for the South Placer Regional Transportation Authority.

The Board also approved a commendation recognizing Mary Ann Allen for her many years of service to the Placer County Community Services Commission. Allen, a member of a pioneer Placer County family, was appointed to the Placer County Community Services Commission serving as an at large member representing the northern area of Placer County and has since served over 12 consecutive years as a commissioner. She has been a tireless advocate of providing needed services to Placer County's low-income residents who have immediate life necessities such as food, shelter, and health care needs. She has demonstrated her dedication to providing services to the less fortunate members of our communities by her nearly perfect attendance at commission meetings.

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